02
Dec
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It's that time again - Google has updated the developer dashboard with new platform distribution numbers. Following a predictable trend, KitKat has eked out its own 1.1% niche, Jelly Bean (API version 16-18) is going strong at 54.5%, putting it further over the mark it reached last month, running on over half of all devices that have checked in to the Google Play Store in the past two weeks, while Gingerbread's grip continues to slip, decreasing to 24.1% from 26.3% last month.

28
Nov
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The Chromecast is already a pretty fantastic deal at $35, but less is always more when it comes to price. Both Best Buy and Amazon are offering the streaming dongle for $29.99. You still get the $6 credit for Google Play movie rentals from either retailer, so you won't be wanting for something to watch when you plug it in.

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Google has been pushing the Chromecast hard as of late, adding a special section for Chromecast to the on-device Google Play Store to highlight the apps that can take advantage of it.

27
Nov
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Chromecast has been slowly but steadily adding support from major media apps since it launched: Hulu Plus, Pandora, and HBO GO have joined Netflix and Google's own Play Music, Play Movies, and YouTube. Apparently the Big G thinks this is enough to warrant a dedicated sub-section of the Play Store, as spotted by Google Operating System. Depending on your device and its resolution, it might show up on the main Apps page or necessitate a quick swipe to the left to open the Categories menu.

26
Nov
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Google would love for you to put a Nexus 7 under someone's tree this holiday season, but they also don't want anyone who can't part with $229+ at the moment to feel left out - so they're now offering customers who purchase a Chromecast from Google Play with a free HD movie rental. If Play Movies isn't quite your cup of tea, you're also free to take $6 in Play Store credit instead.

25
Nov
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In a post to the Android Google+ account this evening, Google officially announced the Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition would be joining the HTC One Google Play Edition in the realm of timely updates, with KitKat upgrades rolling out "starting today."

Starting today, Samsung GS4 and HTC One Google Play edition devices are getting an update to Android 4.4! Learn more about Android 4.4, KitKat: http://www.android.com/versions/kit-kat-4-4

We already saw the start of the HTC One GPE's KitKat rollout earlier today, and Samsung posted its own open source kernel files for the update before that.

22
Nov
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The changes to the Play Store we mentioned last month seem to have taken effect. Now when you're checking out apps on an Android tablet, the home page and the tabs for "Top Paid," "Top Free" and the like will only highlight apps designed for use on tablets, at least by default. If you search for a non-optimized app manually, the full listing will use a "designed for phones" tag.

Check out these screenshots.

21
Nov
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Hooray! Shortly after the Nexus 4 OTA zip link was finally discovered, we can now say the same about both data-connected Nexus 7s - the 2012 3G edition and the 2013 LTE. These are the last devices we didn't have manual update links for, so now it's safe to say that the KitKat Nexus rollout has been fully completed.

As to not repeat the same flashing instructions, I'm going to direct the 2012 3G owners to this post and 2013 LTE owners to this one.

21
Nov
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Good news, everyone! The coveted Nexus 4 OTA to Android 4.4 is finally here after a brief delay caused by several serious bugs. It started rolling out very slowly a few days ago, but it wasn't until just now that we were able to finally identify the OTA zip urls for those of you who want to flash KitKat manually without having to wait any longer. No need to mash the Check for updates button over and over - let alone it doesn't actually do anything.

21
Nov
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You asked. You begged. You pleaded. And your requests have not fallen on deaf ears... but it did take HBO a while, didn't it? The HBO GO app got a small update this morning, adding support for Google's streaming Chromecast dongle. Nothing more, nothing less.

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After today's update to both Google's Chromecast whitelist and the HBO GO app itself, there are still just four third-party streaming apps that are compatible, including Netflix, Pandora, and Hulu Plus.

19
Nov
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If you're noticing some fishy battery behavior today, and it looks like Google Play Services is the culprit, you aren't alone. Throughout the day, users have been reporting extraordinary battery use by the usually innocuous services app, accounting for up to 50% of battery usage. It would seem that, for reasons unknown, Play Services is keeping users' devices awake for incredible lengths of time. Some users report that location is disabled on their devices, ruling that out as a suspect for the increased battery drain.

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